PANTHERS SEE OFF THE BANDITS

Friday May 29, 2015
PETERBOROUGH extended their unbeaten Premier League streak to six meetings during a fabulous Friday night feast of speedway at the East of England Showground.

The Readypower Panthers recovered from a poor start (they trailed by eight points after three races) to put Berwick to the sword with a 51-39 success – their sixth successive home win in all competitions.

Robert Lambert displayed some of the scintillating form which has secured him a place in the Great Britain team for the World Cup with a 15+1-point top-scoring showing and skipper Ulrich Ostergaard also reeled off a hat-trick of wins in a hefty haul of 13+1.

But it was his countryman Michael Palm Toft who really thrilled the Showground faithful with a series of stunning rides from the back on his way to 8+2.

There were also solid 7+1 contributions from guest number one Lasse Bjerre and reserve Simon Lambert while his bottom-end partner Ollie Greenwood was unfortunate not to emerge with more points to his name.

Team boss Carl Johnson said: “We always knew it was going to be a tough meeting and that is certainly how it proved.

“I told the boys they would get turned over if they weren’t at their best and Berwick came at us hard early on.

“The riders knew they didn’t perform in the first few races and they put it right. They can be proud of the way they fought back and went on to win the meeting impressively in the end.

“There was no shortage of great racing for the fans again and most importantly we kept our unbeaten run going.”

Panthers received an early wake-up call as Berwick dominated the opening three races with a pair of 4-2s sandwiching a 5-1 from visiting reserve duo Richard Hall and Alex Edberg in heat two.

Hall, who looked considerably more like the rider of 2006 than that of 2014, was triumphant again after getting the better of Simon Lambert in a shared fourth heat, but Panthers then transformed the contest.

An eight-point deficit became a four-point advantage following a burst of three 5-1s in the space of four races with Palm Toft starring.

He worked his way through from fourth to second in the final two laps of heat five to follow in skipper Ostergaard for the first full-house.

Palm Toft swept past Bandits guest Jan Graversen before darting down the inside of Ben Barker leaving the final bend and he delivered more late drama when the next race was finally completed at the third time of asking.

The initial staging was halted due to an unsatisfactory start and Berwick guest Ryan Fisher then tumbled out in a tight third corner to earn an exclusion in the second attempt.

Edberg then stormed from the traps in take three only for Bjerre to power around his outside at the end of lap two and Palm Toft to follow suit through the last corner.

But it was heat eight which proved to be pivotal for both teams in very different ways as Panthers hit the front for the first time and the visitors lost a key rider to injury.

A terrific battle was brought to a premature end as Hall hit the deck going through the second bend of the final lap when still scrapping for the lead with Simon Lambert.

His tumble left the Panthers man in front with namesake Robert in tow for another maximum while Hall was ruled out of the rest of the meeting with concussion and a suspected broken nose.

Two Ostergaard-inspired 4-2s edged Panthers further clear before Palm Toft clinched victory in typically spectacular style in heat 14. The Danish ace saved the best of his many fine contributions until last as he weaved his way through from last to first to take victory.

It was a fitting way to seal the points in another sizzling Showground meeting which received the finish in deserved from Robert Lambert and Ostergaard in the finale.

Panthers now a have a fortnight break until entertaining Ipswich on Friday, June 12.

SCORES

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Robert Lambert 15+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 13+1, Michael Palm Toft 8+2, Lasse Bjerre 7+1, Simon Lambert 7+1, Ollie Greenwood 1, Rider replacement for Lewis Blackbird.

BERWICK: Ben Barker 11, Kevin Doolan 11, Richard Hall 7+1 (withdrawn), Alex Edberg 4+2, Ryan Fisher (guest) 3+1, Jan Graversen (guest) 3+1, Rider replacement for Thomas Jorgensen.

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